The overland track makes it way about 70km from Cradle Mountain to Lake St Clair in Tasmania. Probably Australia's most famous walk it attracts many visitors each year. So I've decided not just to do the walk for my second time, but this time to take along my 7 year old son along with his grandfather. This post begins a series of posts as we prepare ourselves for the walk mid February. You'll also be able to track our progress as we attempt the walk. Along the way we'll be making a documentary of our experiences so be sure to come back.
Why would I take a seven year old into such a wild place?
I've been asked more than a few times if Daniel is up to this walk. While I can't really know for sure yet there are some ideas that are encouraging me to take him.
1. I want to encourage a spirit of adventure and exploration.
We enjoy exploring nature the world we live in. He will learn more about his world by visiting and experiencing it. He will also learn more about himself and our relationship will grow. I hope to help develop a sense of awe at our world and a desire to explore it.
2. Children are positively influenced by nature
I heard an interview with Richard Louv author of last child in the woods and subsequently I read his book. Many things resonated with me, especially getting children to use all their five senses. We've found as a family that being outside has always had a positive influence on us.
3. The overland track isn't as hard as some may believe
For those not into bushwalking (or overnight hiking) the reputation of the overland track is that it's a hard and wild walk. However to experienced walkers it is on the easier end of the scale, but still a remarkable walk to do at 7. Navigation is easy, there are huts alone the route, a lot of the track is boardwalked, there aren't any very long days or technical difficult sections. Apart from some of the side tracks the hardest part of this walk will be sharing it with inexperienced walkers!
4. Previous experience
He's done a few multiple days hikes before. While I'm sure the extended duration will be both mentally and physically challenging for him he has an aptitude for adventure.